Death of a Salesman
By Arthur Miller
Male – Early 20’s
Biff is explaining to his brother, Happy, why he can't come back home and be a businessman. He wants to be free and out from the expectations of his father.
You know why I had no address for three months? I stole a suit in Kansas City and I was jailed. I stole myself out of every good job since high school. And I never got anywhere because you blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody! That's whose fault it is! It's goddamn time you heard that! Why am I trying to become what I don't want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am! Why can't I say that, Willy? Pop! I'm a dime a dozen, and so are you! I am not a leader of men, Willy, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash-can like all the rest of them! I'm one dollar an hour, Willy! I tried seven states and couldn't raise it! A buck an hour! Do you gather my meaning? I'm not bringing home any prizes any more, and you're going to stop waiting for me to bring them home! Pop, I'm nothing! I'm nothing, Pop. Can't you understand that? There's no spite in it any more. I'm just what I am, that's all. Will you let me go, for Christ's sake? Will you take that phony dream and burn it before something happens?
The Graduate (Film)
By Buck Henry
Male - Early 20's
Benjamin Braddock, confused and at loose ends after college graduation, wandered into an affair.
I’m just living in Berkeley. Having grown somewhat weary of family life, I’ve been meaning to stop by and pay my respects but have not been entirely certain how you felt about me after the incident with your mother which was certainly a serious mistake on my part but not serious enough I hope to permanently alter your feelings about me. I love you. I love you and I can’t help myself and I’m begging you to forgive me for what I did. I love you so much I’m terrified of seeing you every time I step outside the door. I feel helpless and hopeless and lost and miserable, please forget what I did please Elaine O God Elaine I love you please forget what I did? Please forget what I did Elaine, I love you.
Long Day's Journey Into Night
By Eugene O’Neill
MALE Early 20’s
Edmund rails against his drunken for being such a tightwad.
God, Papa, ever since I went to sea and was on my own, and found out what hard work for little pay was, and what it felt like to be broke, and starve, and camp on park benches because I had no place to sleep, I've tried to be fair to you because I knew what you'd been up against as a kid. I've tried to make allowances. Christ, you have to make allowances in this damned family or go nuts! I have tried to make allowances for myself when I remember all the rotten stuff I've pulled! I've tried to feel like Mama that you can't help being what you are where money is concerned. But God Almighty, this last stunt of yours is too much! It makes me want to puke! Not because of the rotten way you're treating me. To hell with that! I've treated you rottenly, in my way, more than once. But to think when it's a question of your son having consumption, you can show yourself up before the whole town as such a stinking old tightwad! Don't you know Hardy will talk and the whole damn town will know! Jesus, Papa, haven't you any pride or shame? [Bursting with rage.] And don't think I'll let you get away with it! I won't go to any damned state farm just to save you a few lousy dollars to buy more bum property with! You stinking old miser --!
The Diary of Adam and Eve
By Mark Twain
Female, Late Teens
Eve talks to the snake about life in Eden and her new-found friend, Adam. She is all youth, naïveté and hope.
We are getting along very well now, Adam and I, and getting better and better acquainted. He does not try to avoid me any more, which is a good sign, and shows that he likes to have me with him. That pleases me, and I study to be useful to him in every way I can, so as to increase his regard. During the last day or two I have taken all the work of naming things off his hands, and this has been a great relief to him, for he has no gift in that line, and is evidently very grateful. He can't think of a rational name to save him, but I do not let him see that I am aware of his defect. Whenever a new creature comes along I name it before he has time to expose himself by an awkward silence. In this way I have saved him many embarrassments. I have no defect like this.The minute I set eyes on an animal I know what it is. I don't have to reflect a moment; the right name comes out instantly, just as if it were an inspiration, as no doubt it is, for I am sure it wasn't in me half a minute before. I seem to know just by the shape of the creature and the way it acts what animal it is. When the dodo came along he thought it was a wildcat--I saw it in his eye. But I saved him. And I was careful not to do it in a way that could hurt his pride. I just spoke up in a quite natural way of pleasing surprise, and not as if I was dreaming of conveying information, and said, "Well, I do declare, if there isn't the dodo!" I explained--without seeming to be explaining--how I know it for a dodo, and although I thought maybe he was a little piqued that I knew the creature when he didn't, it was quite evident that he admired me. That was very agreeable, and I thought of it more than once with gratification before I slept. How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it.
By N. Richard Nash
Female, Mid 20's
Lizzie defends her dreams - the dreams of her heart - over Starbuck's dreams,which are dreams of fantasy. She is hurt and in love.
You think all dreams have to be your kind! Golden Fleece and thunder on the mountain! But there are other dreams, Starbuck! Little quiet ones that come to a woman when she’s shining the silverware and putting moth flakes in the closet. Like a man’s voice saying: “Lizzie, is my blue suit pressed?” And the same man saying: “Scratch between my shoulder blades.” And kids laughing and teasing and setting up a racket. And how it feels to say the word “Husband”! . . There are all kinds of dreams, Mr. Starbuck. Mine are small ones – like my name – Lizzie. But they’re real like my name – real! So you can have yours – and I’ll have mine
By Anton Chekhov
Female, late teens
Nina talks to herself about the new man she just met - a famous Author - who is really no different that anyone else. She suddenly feels he is in reach and is captivated.
How strange to see somebody famous crying. . . and over something so ordinary like that. But then it’s just as strange to think that a famous writer idolized by the public, written about in all the papers, his photograph in shop windows, his books translated into foreign languages – to think he should spend the whole day fishing and be delighted with himself if he catches a couple of perch. I thought famous people were proud and remote with their fame and the glamour of their names they were somehow getting their own back on the rank and wealth and birth being always put first. But here they are, crying, fishing, playing cards and losing their tempers just like anyone else.
The Lion in Winter
By James Goldman
"ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE"
Eleanor, queen to Henry II of England and his prisoner, of Aquitaine, cuts through the argument to speak the truth about the ruthless nature of her family. Then she pleads for love and peace.
Of course he has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It’s 1183 and we’re barbarians. How clear we make it. Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war. Not history’s forces nor the times nor justice nor the lack of it nor causes nor religions nor ideas nor kinds of government nor any other thing. We are the killers. We breed wars. We carry it, like syphilis, inside. Dead bodies rot in field and stream because the living ones are rotten. For the love of God, can’t we love one another just a little? That’s how peace begins. We have so much to love each other for. We have such possibilities, my children. We could change the world.
By N. Richard Nash
Starbuck 'sells' Lizzie on how he found out he was a rainmaker and part of his gifted family.
I've seen better blessings Lizzie Girl. I've got a brother who's a doctor. You don't have to tell him where you ache or pain. He just comes in, lays his hand on your heart and pretty soon you're breathin' sweet again. And I got another brother, Arnie who can sing. And when he's singin' that song is there and it never leaves you. I used to think to my self: "Why ain't I blessed like Fred or Arnie? Why am I just a nothin' man with nothin' special to my name. But then one summer comes the drought. Fred, he can't heal it away; Arnie, he can't sing it away, but me - I go down to the hollow and I pray "bring rain - please bring rain" and the rain's came Lizzy, they came. And I knew then I was part of the Family
A Doll's House
A Doll's House
By Henrik Ibsen
Nora has a perfect life on the outside. Doting husband, loving children and a nice home. But when decisions she made are revealed, her world comes crashing down. Nora's lies helped save her husband's life but his only concern is what scandal will be brought upon their household. As her relationships fall victim, Nora realizes she has been a puppet for too long.
Disgusted and hurt regarding how Helmer dealt with the potential blackmail, Nora advises she is leaving. She no longer loves Helmer and wonders if he ever loved her or just the idea of her.
You have never loved me. You have only thought it pleasant to be in love with me. It is perfectly true, Torvald. When I was at home with papa, he told me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinions; and if I differed from him I concealed the fact, because he would not have liked it. He called me his doll-child, and he played with me just as I used to play with my dolls. And when I came to live with you--I mean that I was simply transferred from papa's hands into yours. You arranged everything according to your own taste, and so I got the same tastes as your else I pretended to, I am really not quite sure which--I think sometimes the one and sometimes the other. When I look back on it, it seems to me as if I had been living here like a poor woman--just from hand to mouth. I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. But you would have it so. You and papa have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life.